I-T dept alleges Sonu Sood involved in ₹20 crore tax evasion; FCRA violation

The Income Tax Department on Saturday conducted a search and seizure operation at various premises of actor Sonu Sood in Mumbai. Apart from this, searches were also conducted at a Lucknow based group of industries engaged in infrastructure development. As per a release of the Ministry of Finance, a total of 28 premises spread over Mumbai, Lucknow, Kanpur, Jaipur, Delhi, and Gurgaon were covered in the search operation which unearthed Sonu Sood’s alleged unaccounted income in the form of bogus unsecured loans and entities.

During the course of search, incriminating evidence pertaining to tax evasion has been found. The main modus operandi followed by the actor, had been to route his unaccounted income in the form of bogus unsecured loans from many bogus entities. The IT Department has revealed that there have been instances where professional receipts have been camouflaged as loans in the books of accounts for the purpose of evasion of tax. It has also revealed that these bogus loans have been used for making investments and acquiring properties. Investigations so far have revealed use of 20 such entries, the providers of which, have accepted on oath to have given bogus accommodation entries. They have accepted to have issued cheques in lieu of cash to the actor. It also accused Sood of violating the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) while raising donations from abroad. The IT department has found foreign funds violations in actor’s Sood Charity Foundation, incorporated on July 21 last year when Covid-19 was at its peak and he was involved in a lot of relief work, particularly sending migrant workers to their homes.

The CBDT said that the foundation has collected donations worth ₹18.94 crore from April 1, 2021, till date, out of which it has spent around ₹1.9 crore towards various relief work while the balance of ₹17 crore has been found lying unutilized in the bank account of the foundation.